Month: August 2015

Legal Aid of Northwest Texas

texas legal aidLegal Aid of Northwest Texas is a wonderful, nonprofit organization that “provides free civil legal services to low-income residents in 114 Texas counties throughout North and West Texas.”

According to their website, they are the fifth largest legal aid program in the United States.

LANWT primarily represents clients with income up to 125% of the U.S. poverty line, although in certain cases they are able to help those with incomes of up to 200% of the poverty line, which, for a family of four, means a maximum income of $3,975 per month.

Click the link above to read more about the program and/or make a donation.

Our Tips & Resources posts are intended to provide general educational information. Like all other material on this blog, it is not a substitute for legal advice.

Value Engineering in Three Sentences

texas construction value engineeringIt’s a phrase of art often heard in the construction industry. There is no one particular meaning. Nevertheless, value engineering generally describes a situation in which a contractor proposes to deliver a less-expensive improvement comparable to one that was formerly designed.

In our Law 101 posts, we define terms, phrases, or concepts with the goal of conveying core information in order to set the stage for more complex discussions.

Texas Inland Water Buoys and Markers

texas water law buoys maritime admiraltyOne of my six-year-old daughters asked me about buoys she saw floating in the lake near our house this weekend.

Section 31.142 of the Texas Parks & Wildlife Code authorizes the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department to provide for a standardized buoy-marking program for the inland water of the state. Under 31 Texas Administrative Code section 55.304, the Department adopted the U.S. Aids to Navigation System contained in 33 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 62 for Texas public waters. The United States Coast Guard administers the U.S. Aids to Navigation System.

The U.S. Aids to Navigation System primarily employs an arrangement of colors, shapes, numbers, and light characteristics to mark the limits of navigable routes.

Aids to navigation are placed on shore or on marine sites to assist a navigator to determine his/her position or safe course. The primary components of the U.S. Aids to Navigation System are beacons and buoys. Beacons are aids to navigation structures that are permanently fixed to the earth’s surface. Think lighthouses. Buoys are floating aids to navigation that are moored to the seabed by sinkers with chain or other moorings of various lengths.

Lateral marks define the port (left) and starboard (right) sides of a route to be followed. They may be either beacons or buoys. Sidemarks are lateral marks that advise the mariner to stay to one side of the mark. Preferred channel marks indicate channel junctions or bifurcations and may also mark wrecks or obstructions which the mariner, after consulting a chart to ascertain the location of the obstruction relative to the aid, may pass on either side.

I spent ten minutes explaining this to my daughter.

Her response? “I was just curious why they floated.”

For a simple explanation of Texas buoys and water markers, check out this webpage.

In our Just for Fun posts, we underscore certain construction and real estate topics just for the fun of it.